Tayside and Central Scotland

Honorary degree for M*A*S*H actor Alan Alda

Alan Alda
Image caption Mr Alda said greater understanding of science was "more important than ever"

M*A*S*H actor Alan Alda has received an honorary degree from Dundee University for his work promoting the communication of science.

Mr Alda, 81, was made a Doctor of Law at a graduation ceremony in the city's Caird Hall.

He helped found the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University.

Last year Mr Alda supported Dundee University's new £10m forensic science research centre in a video message.

He said: "I feel great, it's wonderful. I don't quite understand the doctorate of law, I haven't broken many so maybe that's it."

Image caption Professor Dame Sue Black proposed Mr Alda for the honour

The Alan Alda Center is an international partner of Dundee University's Leverhulme Centre, which is co-led by Professor Dame Sue Black, who proposed the actor for the honour.

Mr Alda said greater understanding of science was "more important now than ever."

He said: "I did a science programme on television where I interviewed hundreds of scientists for eleven years.

"The University of Dundee are planning to have a partnership with a really important area, which is science in the courtrooms and the justice system with regard to forensic science.

"It's very important the public understand about science to ask important questions.

"We're entitled to be heard with our questions and our objections but we need to have a language that is common.

"It doesn't do much good for scientists to tell us something we don't understand or for us to ask questions based on misunderstanding."

The university's graduation ceremonies continue until Friday.

Other recipients of honorary degrees include Olympian Dame Katherine Grainger and Turner Prize-winning artist Susan Philipsz.

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